Perceptions of Tobacco Control Media Campaigns Among Smokers With Lower Socioeconomic Status.
People with low socioeconomic status (SES) in the United States have disparately high rates of smoking and experience disproportionately high burdens of smoking-related disease. Tobacco control media campaigns are a critical strategy for reducing tobacco use prevalence, but evidence is mixed about the optimal use of mass media to reach and promote tobacco use cessation among people with low SES. Improved understanding of the factors influencing how low-SES tobacco users evaluate tobacco control media campaigns may inform development of more effective messages and strategies. Focus groups with primarily low-SES smokers in Connecticut were conducted, finding that participants had seen many tobacco control television ads that used graphic imagery and testimonials, but participants voiced two main themes that limited ad effectiveness: (1) skepticism about the content of ads, the role of the tobacco industry and the government in sponsoring the ads, and the safety and efficacy of cessation supports; and (2) barriers to quitting such as stress, social contexts, and addiction that participants perceived as being underappreciated in the context of the ads. Tobacco control media campaigns targeting low-SES tobacco users may need additional messages, tools, or refinements to more optimally motivate this group to make quit attempts.
McCullough, A; Meernik, C; Baker, H; Jarman, K; Walsh, B; Goldstein, AO
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